Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution (Paperback)

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution By Elie Mystal Cover Image
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Finalist, ABA Silver Gavel Award for Books

The New York Times bestseller that has cemented Elie Mystal's reputation as one of our sharpest and most acerbic legal minds

"After reading Allow Me to Retort, I want Elie Mystal to explain everything I don't understand--quantum astrophysics, the infield fly rule, why people think Bob Dylan is a good singer . . ." --Michael Harriot, The Root

Allow Me to Retort is an easily digestible argument about what rights we have, what rights Republicans are trying to take away, and how to stop them. Mystal explains how to protect the rights of women and people of color instead of cowering to the absolutism of gun owners and bigots. He explains the legal way to stop everything from police brutality to political gerrymandering, just by changing a few judges and justices. He strips out all of the fancy jargon conservatives like to hide behind and lays bare the truth of their project to keep America forever tethered to its slaveholding past.

Mystal brings his trademark humor, expertise, and rhetorical flair to explain concepts like substantive due process and the right for the LGBTQ community to buy a cake, and to arm readers with the knowledge to defend themselves against conservatives who want everybody to live under the yoke of eighteenth-century white men. The same tactics Mystal uses to defend the idea of a fair and equal society on MSNBC and CNN are in this book, for anybody who wants to deploy them on social media.


You don't need to be a legal scholar to understand your own rights. You don't need to accept the "whites only" theory of equality pushed by conservative judges. You can read this book to understand that the Constitution is trash, but doesn't have to be.

About the Author


Elie Mystal is The Nation's legal analyst and justice correspondent, an Alfred Knobler Fellow at the Type Media Center, and the legal editor of the More Perfect podcast on the Supreme Court for Radiolab. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, the former executive editor of Above the Law, a former associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, and a frequent guest on MSNBC and Sirius XM. The author of Allow Me to Retort (The New Press), he lives in New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781620977637
ISBN-10: 162097763X
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: May 9th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English